Focus at Infinity, Iris WFO

dave_dolly_focusI’ve been thinking about doing this for a long time…blogging, that is. I originally thought it would be a good idea to do at my day job. Not my own blog but rather, one for the day job. It’s always a great thing to have new and current info on the company web site. But for whatever reason, it’s yet to be done.

A lot of things in my life don’t get done. I was gonna wash the dog this weekend…didn’t get done. I was gonna rake leaves this weekend…still on the ground, in the yard, on the sidewalk. I was gonna do laundry…sorry, son. You gotta wear those stinky pants again.

What I did do this weekend was spend some time with the little rodent (youngest son), visit my 83 year old Dad, talk on the phone with my 1,000 mile away Mom, shoot about 100 photos, learn more about FCP X, watch the joy in my little rodent as he experimented with taking pictures with his new phone camera, allowed myself to become inspired by his enthusiasm, started a new online photo gallery, continued to tweak my new web site, printed photos from a shoot for a client, finished off the last of 4 pumpkin pies I made, became more obsessed with capturing those beautiful images that now serve as my opiate, read lots of digital film techno stuff… In short, I did a lot more than I didn’t get done.

One thing that happened along the way was I got kind of overloaded. That’s a good thing for me sometimes unless it makes me lose focus on my creative process. As a camera assistant, there’s a term that is often used when the camera is ready for the Director of Photography, “focus at infinity, iris WFO” (wide fuckin open). What this means is that when she steps up to the the viewfinder and looks at the shot, everything is going to be in focus and all the light that is available will be as bright as it’s gonna get. The D.P. (Director of Photography) can then iris down if it’s too bright or ask the gaffer for more light. It’s a starting point from which the image can be reigned in, adjusted, composed, refocused.

Sometimes my focus is at infinity and I’m seeing too much. My iris is wide fuckin open, the lights are too bright, and I need too stop it down. I need a mental and emotional D.P. to tell me what to focus on and how intensely. I’m really glad I’m like this though, and I’m glad to be associated with others whose focus is at infinity, iris WFO. I’ve learned that I can’t be creative in a vacuum and that on many levels, we all need others to help us focus and adjust at times. Gratitude would be a better word.

This is my inaugural blog entry and I hope I can bring relevant info, ideas, and creative processes to others. More importantly, I’m looking forward to learning more from those of you who take the time to read it.

Focus at Infinity, Iris Wide Fuckin Open bro!



Dave Perry is a Roanoke Virginia digital film producer, editor and photographer. His sideburns are only a hobby.

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